A few years ago, I was profoundly effected by an experience I had concerning Charity. Living near me, was a young mother who had just had a new baby. Having been in this same situation several times myself, I was well acquainted with the struggle that can come from adjusting to life with a new baby. I had made dinner for her and her husband and went to deliver it to her home, with the intent of offering to do some house cleaning for her while I was there.
As I entered her home, it was a disaster, clothes, and stuff were all over the floor and a pile of dirty dishes were in the sink. I was so grateful for the opportunity to help someone who so obviously needed some help.
She took one look at me and the tray of food I'd brought and with a sound of anger in her voice told me she didn't need my food nor my help...she said she didn't accept Charity.
People often view acts of Charity in terms of giving food, money, and clothing to someone who is financially struggling. A major portion of our society feels uncomfortable receiving this type of 'Charity'...but,
what REALLY is Charity?
Recently I was studying one of my favorite New Testament passages in 1 Corinthians 13 (KJV). In this chapter, the Apostle Paul gives a clarifying definition of what Charity really is. vs 4-8:
· suffereth long
· is kind
· envieth not
· vaunteth not itself (prideful)
· is not puffed up
· Doth not behave itself unseemly (indecently, unbecomingly)
· seeketh not her own (selfishness)
· is not easily provoked (anger, provoking, self-mastery)
· thinketh no evil
· rejoiceth not in iniquity (injustice, unrighteousness)
· but rejoiceth in truth
· beareth all things
· believeth all things
· hopeth all things
· endureth all things
· Charity Never Faileth (dependability)
That's a pretty long list isn't it? It can also be overwhelming for those of us that are striving to be more Christlike. As I view this list, three things come to mind...
1. Charity is a state of being. It's not random acts of kindness, but it is who we are.
2. With God all things are possible. He wants us to have His pure love emanate from us, so He will help us if we ask!
3. We are given opportunities daily to develop Charity, the pure love of Christ by:
* giving someone the benefit of the doubt
* not categorizing someone
* accepting someones weaknesses, differences, and shortcomings
* having patience when someone has let us down
* resisting the impulse to become offended
* forgiving those who have hurt us
* accepting the best of each other
(Source: Marvin J Ashton)
(Source: Marvin J Ashton)
These are just a few examples of how we can develop our character into becoming truly Charitable people. Developing the true love of Christ is a daily task, it involves the decisions we are continually making. When sought after in small doses, Charity doesn't seem so over whelming and comes into focus.
About Becky Jane